IN 2014, MARK BOWRA WAS AT THE PINNACLE OF HIS CAREER
He was a decorated officer in the UK Special Forces. He had tested himself in some of the most arduous environments. Life was frantic and dangerous, but it was what he had joined up to do. In the space of a few minutes all that was about to change. Mark suffered a major stroke whilst driving back from London that would lead him to be hospitalised for over a year.
Mark training in the new Bowra bunker!
Thankfully with the help of his family, friends and some very supportive charities including Help for Heroes, Mark is now back on his feet again with a greater determination to help others who may be similarly affected.
In 2016 and 2017, Mark was selected to take part in the Invictus Games, winning medals in swimming. Since then, he as dedicated himself to helping others.
Mark established the Bowra Foundation in 2019, to inspire resilience amongst people suffering from neurological disorders through practical help and physical challenges alongside members of the Armed Forces community.
BACK ON HIS FEET AGAIN
The Bowra Bag at the summit of Pen Y Fan
Building on his own experience recovering from stroke, Mark devised the Bowra Bag, a toolkit to aid rehabilitation, communication and independence for people suffering from a range of neurological disorders. The Bowra Foundation works with partners and healthcare practitioners to get Bowra Bags to those who need them at the earliest opportunity.
Mark has been training in anticipation of his greatest challenge yet, to cycle, swim, paddle and walk from John O'Groats to Lands End. The Bowra 1000 Challenge was scheduled for May-July 2020 and has been postponed due to the escalating COVID-19 crisis. Mark’s plan is to complete the challenge virtually and bring members of the Armed Forces community and people with neurological disorders along with him.
THE BOWRA BAG WAS BORN
Left to right: Jim Patrick CBE, Mark Bowra MBE and Alex Roantree-Roesch
In doing so he is proving that no barriers need exist to those that are prepared to test themselves. At the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games in Sydney in 2018, Prince Harry referred to the spirit that exists amongst the veterans, that makes them so inspirational. He also mentioned that this 'brothers in arms, never give in' attitude is something that we can all aspire to.
Mark has now dedicated himself to helping others find their Invictus inner selves, by setting up the Bowra Foundation in which the motto, 'what's inside matters' has never been more appropriate.
HELPING THOSE WITH NEUROLOGICAL DISORDERS